Cloud Contact Center vs On Premise Contact Center – Which is Better?

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to customer engagement. Businesses have options and with the development of cloud contact centers, the traditional on-premise contact centers are being left behind.

Deciding between cloud contact center vs on-premise contact center can be crucial in the performance of an organization. In this blog, Content Guru outlines the benefits of disadvantages of both, to help you better understand cloud contact center vs on-premise contact center debate.

The Cloud Contact Center vs On-Premise Battle Begins

Though commonly referred to as 'legacy technology', on-premise contact centers do have benefits. These benefits revolve around ownership and control:

  • On-premise contact centers require both hardware and software; this hardware is bought and owned by the organization, freeing them from reliance on a third-party.

  • The organization’s data is stored on servers located in-house. The firm has full control over what happens to its data. This can reduce risk of data mismanagement and improve the perceived level of customer security.

  • With cloud contact centers, data is held in the cloud which can only be accessed with an internet connection. In the event of a loss of connection, agents and team members would be unable to access essential data. In these scenarios, staff are unable to meet the needs of their customers, resulting in a poor CX which can have a detrimental effect on the organization.

The cloud contact center vs on-premise contact center is not as clear-cut a battle as it first may seem. So how does the cloud take the lead over its on-prem cousins?

Cloud Contact Center vs On-Premise Contact Center – The Counter-Offensive

On-prem might be reliable, but cloud contact centers also have a varied set of benefits that boost an organization’s CX, and outweigh the benefits of on-prem contact centers.

The first of which, is that hardware is not required in order to operate cloud contact centers. On-prem contact center hardware represents significant up-front capital expenditure (capex) costs; both the hardware itself, and the technical staff to install and update it.

Furthermore, on-prem hardware can become outdated and inefficient in a short period of time. The deployment of new features can take up to 24 months and small changes may take 9 months. Couple this with the fact that customer communications technology represents one of the most innovative, dynamic and fast-moving sectors of the global economy and these wait times can cause organizations to fall behind their competitors.

Cloud contact centers can be updated in mere hours with the latest technology and features. The only costs incurred are monthly subscription fees that scale with usage, creating massive savings. In the cloud contact center vs on-premise contact center debate, the cloud storms to victory in terms of Return on Investment (ROI).

Cloud-Based Functionality

In relation to overall security, cloud contact centers do have features to combat security issues. Namely, through connectivity, it is possible for organizations to regularly update their security systems and provide solutions to any security concerns at a rapid pace.

This reduces the risks associated with cloud contact centers, as providers are constantly looking to update and reinforce their existing security, due to its significant importance to both customers and stakeholders.

Furthermore, cloud contact centers have a hugely impressive downtime of only minutes per year, and maintain the significant advantage whereby if there are issues with servers, there are other servers will still be in operation to facilitate customer contact. With on-prem contact center solutions, a serious server malfunction can lead to extended downtime, and in some cases, the permanent loss of customer data.

With cloud contact centers all agents can work remotely as opposed to having to be near a site. The benefits of this are manifold:

  • Firstly, agents are given more flexibility as to how and where they would prefer to conduct their work. This increased flexibility and autonomy often results in improved employee retention as they feel trusted, empowered and listened to.

  • Secondly, it gives employers access to a global talent pool. With remote working, employers are not restricted to hiring those who are in close enough proximity to the office to work.

  • Organizations can hire exactly who they desire regardless of geographical limitations. With this in mind, although cloud contact centers require agents to have strong internet connections in order to be effective in their roles, this is an extremely low barrier to entry.

The final strength of cloud contact centers over on-premise contact center counterparts is the ability to scale at will. Increasing and decreasing the number of agents available for calls to facilitate the servicing of customer demand is much better suited to cloud contact center solutions. Intelligent Automation, from Natural Language Processing (NLP) to generative AI, is unavailable to on-prem contact centers. Cloud contact centers are also able to integrate seamlessly with third-party systems, allowing agents to manage and use customer data to fulfill enquiries with ease.

Tim McDougal of Deloitte highlighted the need for contact centers looking to improve their CX to be able to respond to changes in customer expectations and indeed changes in cultural, competitive and regulatory environments. The agility, scalability, ever-evolving and heavily integrated nature of cloud contact centers, satisfactorily meet those demands set out by McDougal better than traditional on premise contact centers, displaying their role to play in future contact center scenarios. According to another report by Deloitte, 75% of firms are looking to move to cloud in the next two years, which further corroborates McDougal’s assertions.

Cloud Contact Center vs On-Premise Contact Center – The Conclusion

On-premise contact centers, though bolstered by the lure of having more control over data and debatably greater security assurance, simply do not hold up in other areas that are crucial to delivering world-class CX. The ability for cloud contact centers to rapidly update, evolve, and keep up with the demands of customers, and deliver scalability and seamless integrations that cloud contact centers are at the cutting edge of the industry and will continue to be so into the future. Cloud contact centers have won the battle, and it looks like they will win the war.